Paradise Falls

A steep trail with fixed ropes leading to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Western North Carolina.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
829 m
Ascent
88 m
Descent
88 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
835 m
High Point
924 m
Gradient
13˚
Paradise Falls Map

There are few waterfalls in Western North Carolina as spectacular as Paradise Falls, and after you see it yourself - you'll know exactly why. Known by long-time locals as Wolf Creek Falls, this stunning waterfall is not powerful, but tall, as Wolf Creek tumbles through a notch in a massive boulder field. A large swimming hole beneath makes it a popular summer hike, and its remote location makes it an excellent day trip for anyone in Brevard, Sylva, Cashiers, or Lake Toxaway.

Description

Though less than 1/2-mile round-trip, the trail plummets steeply through rhododendron tunnels and laurel thickets, with ropes fixed to trees to help with the steeper sections. Younger children and pets will likely struggle as you get close to the falls, but the hike is still doable with enough perseverance.

The trailhead is located off Highway 281, also known as Canada Road. The pull-off is large enough for several cars, but there is no defined trailhead or kiosk there to welcome you. During the summer months though, there will usually be at least a couple of cars there - which is a good indication that you are in the right place. As you might expect, neither water nor restrooms are available, and the drive from nearby cities can take upwards of one hour - so plan accordingly and make sure you have plenty of gas before you leave.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area